For Vispy Wadia, 45, Parsi New Year is an occasion where the family comes together to celebrate in traditional Parsi style.
So on Friday evening, after a day of feasting and prayer, Wadia and his extended family dutifully concluded new year's day by watching a Parsi natak (play).
“These Parsi-Gujarati plays are no longer produced all through the year, but their tradition continues during the new year season,” said Wadia, a Jogeshwari resident.
Of the eight to ten plays running in the city this week, the Wadias watched ‘Orthodox versus Reformist’, a comedy that takes a light-hearted look on controversial issues such as inter-faith marriages that are increasingly dividing the community. Parsi New Year marks the first day of the community's Shahenshahi calendar, and the end of a ten-day period of repentance and prayer for the deceased. Most Zoroastrians bring in the festive season with a visit to the fire temple and cooking traditional food.
In the Vakil household, for instance, the table was set with Parsi delicacies such as sev (a vermicelli-based sweet dish) and patra ni macchi (a fish preparation).
“I make it a point to visit the fire temple because that's where I get to interact with other Parsi friends,” said Darayus Vakil, 20, student from Colaba, who received a new watch from his sister as a new year gift.
For Jamsheed Master, 17, participating in traditional celebrations makes him feel closer to his community. “I even wrote an article about these traditions in our community newspaper (Jam-e-Jamshed),” said Master, a student from Nepean Sea Road.